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2:23 p.m. - 2002-08-06
Bullet proof
I used to be the grim reaper.

I would travel the seas setting fiendish traps for the wily prawn, collect them from the ocean floor, and sell their bodies as food to the highest bidder.

I was a commercial fisherman.

The lifestyle was hard, the living conditions were harder, and the company was fucking maddening. My skipper was a brute of a man who used his meaty paws to command respect, and I, as you may have figured out, am a disrespectful little cuss. This led to many a “staining” as he called it, a transformation of wiseass heckafresh to a stain on the deck by use of fist. It was the cost of keeping my sanity in an atmosphere that earned me the name “college boy” after being spotted reading literature that had no adds for phone sex lines in the back. The literature was Details Magazine. No joke.

The day consisted of waking at 5am, processing what was left of the previous days catch by dipping the live bugs in a glazing agent and stacking them beak to beak in a method known as finger stacking making each 2.2 pound box ready to freeze and be ship to Japan. The chemicals were not approved for food use here in North America, and if, when mixing the powder you were unfortunate enough to breath in any of the floating matter, you could expect an immediate double bloody nose for your lack of care.

It also caused you to loose your fingerprints entirely.

We would then set out to pick the traps laid the night before, and reset them after they had been relieved of their catch. It was a long day of dangerous work, but it was very romantic in its roots, feeling like I was involved in an age old profession collecting food from the ocean was a thought that helped me to cope with the fact that wanting to quit was the other occupant of brain space.

But I didn’t. I was only the second person to last a whole season with under that skipper, and I never need to prove it again.

That’s the funny thing about proof, I feel now that I have proven myself, at least to myself and those who have known me for a good amount of time, and my actions from this point are proof of who I am, not doneto prove who I am.

The substance instead of the action, or some shit.

Speaking of proof, I'm the little one wearing the anoying hat.


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